GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team put in another solid home effort Tuesday night, defeating Gardner-Webb 81-54 inside Minges Coliseum. The Lady Pirates improve to 6-3 overall and 5-1 in home contests, while the Bulldogs fall to 5-3 on the season.
Gardner-Webb scored the first points of the game when Monique Hudson scored a layup after grabbing the opening jump ball. However, ECU went on an 11-2 run, including four points from sophomore Kim Gay and a trey from senior Gabriela Husarova to take an 11-4 lead at the first media timeout. After the Bulldogs scored five-straight to pull within 11-9, the Lady Pirates rattled off five unanswered points of their own to take a 16-9 advantage with 11:31 left in the half.
Gardner-Webb would stay close over the next four minutes, out-scoring East Carolina slightly, 7-6, to make the margin 22-16 at the penultimate media timeout. But the Lady Pirates took charge from there, going on a 9-0 run that was capped off by a fast break layup by Husarova, to open up a 31-16 lead at the 5:30 mark. Picking up its defense, ECU did not allow the Bulldogs a field goal the rest of the stanza, taking a 43-18 lead into the break.
Gay paced the Lady Pirates in the first half, scoring eight points to go along with four rebounds. Senior Jasmine Young and Ashley Clarke each dished out four assists as East Carolina notched 15 helpers in the period. Additionally, the Lady Pirates shot well from the field, firing at a 48.6 percent clip as compared to 25.0 percent by Gardner-Webb. ECU also out-rebounded the visitors 27-14 for +13 margin.
Freshman Jean Best scored the first points of the second half three minutes in and senior LaCoya Terry added a layup to make the score 47-18 with 16:03 remaining. After the Bulldogs converted their first field goal in over 10 minutes, Terry drilled a three-pointer from the left side to give her team a 30-point advantage, 52-22. With just under 11 minutes remaining in the game, Gardner-Webb cut its deficit to less than 30 points, making an 11-7 run to pull within 27. However, the Lady Pirates quickly re-established their 30-point advantage with eight minutes left. ECU held the Bulldogs at arms length the rest of the way, netting a 27-point triumph.
Terry led all scorers with 17 points, 11 of them in the second half, for her 16th-straight double-digit effort. Additionally, Best poured in a career-high 15 points, accompanied by a personal-best six rebounds (five defensive). As a team, the Lady Pirates recorded 28 field goals and notched 80.0 percent efficiency from the charity stripe, making a team season-best 20 free throws. East Carolina also turned in its highest rebound total of the campaign, pulling down 54 boards (35 defensive).
The Lady Pirates now set their sights overseas as the team will travel to the Bahamas for the Bahamas Splash Shootout on the Grand Bahamas Island. ECU will face Atlantic Sun foe Mercer at 8 p.m. ET inside the Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium before taking on the Sun Belt Conference’s Florida Atlantic at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the same venue.